Dobnay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Dobnay is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Dobnay family lived in Leicestershire. The family was originally from Abene, where they held a castle, near Louvaine, Normandy, and it is from the local form of that name, D'Abene which means from Abene, that their name derives. Another important English house of the same name comes from Aubigny, Brittany. Their name is of identical local derivation. 
Early Origins of the Dobnay family
The surname Dobnay was first found in Leicestershire at Belvoir, a village and civil parish in the Melton district. Belvoir literally means "beautiful view" derived from the Old French words bel + vedeir. 
Another source is more specific: "Amongst the most distinguished companions in arms of the Conqueror was Robert de Todeni, a nobleman of Normandy, upon whom the victorious monarch conferred, with numerous other grants, an estate in the county of Lincoln upon the borders of Leicestershire. Here De Todeni erected a stately castle, and from the fair view it commanded, gave it the designation of Belvoir Castle, and here he established his chief abode. He died in 1088, and was succeeded by his eldest son William, who assumed the surname of Albini or Aubeney, and acquired great renown at the celebrated Battle of Tenercheby, in Normandy, where, commanding the horse, he charged the enemy with so much spirit that he determined at once the fate of the day. " 
It was here that William d'Aubigny (Brito) (d. after 1148), was an itinerant justice under King Henry I of England and was granted the lands where he built Belvoir Castle, which is now a restored stately home. He fought at the Battle of Tinchebray (1106) and was in favor of King Henry I. His grandson, William d'Aubigny or D'Aubeney or d'Albini, Lord of Belvoir (died 1236) was High Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicester and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1199. 
Wymondham or Windham in Norfolk was an early family seat. "This town derives its name from the Saxon Win Munde Ham, signifying 'a pleasant village on a mount;' and is indebted for its importance to the foundation of a priory of Black monks, at first a cell to the abbey of St. Alban's, by William d'Albini or Daubeny, in 1130." 
To the south in the parish of Lanteglos, Cornwall, "the manor of Polruan belonged to the Daubeny family, to whose interest it was indebted for its market, from the year 1291 to 1420; after which it passed to the Molins, and was then inherited by Lord Hungerford." 
Early History of the Dobnay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dobnay research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1109, 1176, 1150, 1193, 1167, 1221, 1203, 1224, 1264, 1305, 1305, 1342, 1386, 1371, 1403, 1494, 1548, 1451, 1507, 1670 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Dobnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dobnay Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Dobnay are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Dobnay include Daubeney, Daveney, Dabney, Daubeny, Debney, Dalbini, Dibney, Dybney, Dobney, Daughby, Dawbeney, Dawby and many more.
Early Notables of the Dobnay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Giles Daubeny or Daubeney, 1st Baron Daubeney KG (1451-1507), an English soldier, diplomat, courtier and politician. He was "descended from the ancient Norman family of de Albini, whose ancestor Robert de Todeni came to England with the Conqueror and built Belvoir Castle...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dobnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dobnay family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Dobnay, or a variant listed above: Thomas Dabney who settled in Barbados in 1654; John Dabney arrived in New York in 1820; Darby Davenney settled in Philadelphia in 1858; Alexander D'Aubiney settled in New England in 1775.
Related Stories +
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print